Education plays a significant role in sharpening the sense of approximate numerical quantity

Manuela Piazza, Pierre Pica, Véronique Izard, Elizabeth S Spelke, Stanislas Dehaene

Overview

Number sense is coarser in a culture without symbols for exact numbers, and it becomes more precise in members of that culture who are introduced to the concepts of exact number and calculation

Summary

Number sense becomes more precise in members of that culture who are introduced to the concepts of exact number and calculation

Altmetric Statistics

Education enhances the acuity of the nonverbal approximate number system.

Authors:
Dr. Pierre Pica, PhD
Dr. Pierre Pica, PhD
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
Linguistics
Paris | France

Psychol Sci 2013 Jun 26;24(6):1037-43. Epub 2013 Apr 26.

Cognitive Neuroimaging Unit, INSERM, Gif sur Yvette, France.

All humans share a universal, evolutionarily ancient approximate number system (ANS) that estimates and combines the numbers of objects in sets with ratio-limited precision. Interindividual variability in the acuity of the ANS correlates with mathematical achievement, but the causes of this correlation have never been established. We acquired psychophysical measures of ANS acuity in child and adult members of an indigene group in the Amazon, the Mundurucú, who have a very restricted numerical lexicon and highly variable access to mathematics education. By comparing Mundurucú subjects with and without access to schooling, we found that education significantly enhances the acuity with which sets of concrete objects are estimated. These results indicate that culture and education have an important effect on basic number perception. We hypothesize that symbolic and nonsymbolic numerical thinking mutually enhance one another over the course of mathematics instruction.

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Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0956797612464057DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4648254PMC
June 2013
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References

(Supplied by CrossRef)

Deacon T. W. et al.
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Dehaene S. et al.
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Dehaene S. et al.
2007

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